SHSU Update For Week Of March 8



College Rodeo Comes To Huntsville Friday, Saturday

Cowboys and cowgirls from the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association’s 12 southern region colleges and universities will ride, rope and wrestle their way to a victory during the SHSU Rodeo on Friday and Saturday (March 13-14).

Preliminaries will be held on Friday and the finals, during which time the top 10 competitors in each event will compete for championships, will be held on Saturday. Both days’ events will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Walker County Fairgrounds.

“We’ll start with the bareback riding and go all the way through the bull riding; all eight major events in the sport of rodeo,” said Bubba Miller, SHSU head rodeo team coach. “It’s a great action-packed show. Sam Houston has never had a year that we have not been represented at the College National Finals, and we have a good team this year.”

A “tight” race for both teams this year in the standings, SHSU’s women’s team is currently ranked third and the men’s team is currently ranked fourth.

“We’re doing great,” Miller said. “It’s a pretty good dog fight between these top three or four teams.

“The rodeo before last, the girl’s team was first; now we’re third. It varies from rodeo from rodeo, but it’s really tight.”

Leading the women’s team is business major Kaki Herring, who is ranked No. 2 in the women’s all-around for the southern region.
The Alvin native competes in barrel racing, the goat tying and the breakaway roping. She also is fifth in the regional standings for both barrel racing and goat tying.

“She’s a phenomenal rodeo athlete and an outstanding student,” Miller said.

Ag business major Jacob Shofner, a Jasper native, is the men’s team leader.

Shofner is first for the region in the team roping and is one of eight men on the team who is regionally ranked in steer wrestling. Shofner is currently No. 9.

“They’ve been very consistent all year long,” Miller said.

Admission is $5 each day.

For more information, contact Miller at 936.264.3867 or


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Linguist To Discuss History Of ‘-En’

Gary Miller, University of Florida professor emeritus of linguistics, will discuss the use of the suffix “–en” to create deadjectival verbs on March 16.

“Why whiten but not *blue-en? The History of English –en,” sponsored by the English department, will be held from 3-4 p.m. in Austin Hall.

“The main function of English -en is to create deadjectival verbs, that is, verbs built on adjectives, like flatten from flat,” he said. “This was a new category in English. Old English had about a dozen -n- verbs, some not deadjectival.”

Miller, an internationally prominent historical linguist specializing in Indo-European studies, has authored numerous articles on historical linguistics and is also one of the editors of the prestigious journal, “Language.”

He received his doctorate from Harvard University.

The lecture is open to the public.

For more information, contact Helena Halmari, SHSU English professor, at or 936.294.1420.


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Campus To Close One Day For Spring Break

Sam Houston State University staff members will join faculty and students on Spring Break with offices closing on Friday (March 13).

Spring Break is March 9-13 for all faculty and students.

Residence Halls closed at 6 p.m. on March 6 and will reopen at 2 p.m. on March 15.

Classes will resume March 16.


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Tournament To Benefit ‘Legacy’ Of Students

The SHSU Alumni Association will build its legacy on March 28 by teeing off “fore the students” during the third annual Legacy Golf Tournament.

The four-man scramble will begin with registration at 11:30 a.m. at the High Meadow Ranch Golf Club near Magnolia, followed by lunch, range warm up and a shotgun start at 1 p.m.

Entry fees are $125 per player, with corporate sponsorships of $1,000 (bronze), $2,500 (silver) and $5,000 (gold). Hole sponsorships are $150.

Individual registration will be held on the day of the event, but participants are encouraged to sign-up before March 20. Team entries must be submitted 48 hours in advance, according to Charlie Vienne, director for Alumni Relations.

Individuals, teams and sponsors can register using credit cards on the Office of Alumni Relations Web site at or mail payment to: Office of Alumni Relations; Box 2022; Huntsville, Texas; 77341.

All proceeds benefit the Alumni Legacy Endowment Fund, which provides scholarships to students of all levels.

For more information, or to register, call the Office of Alumni Relations at 936.294.1841 or 800.283.7478 or visit


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Students Train District Counselors On Coping With Loss

Bipin Sharma, teaching CSISD counselors
SHSU doctoral student Bipin Sharma (right) gives College Station school district counselors tips on how to deal with youth deaths. The district has had four deaths in a short period of time recently.

Two SHSU counseling doctoral students recently helped the College Station school district deal with the loss of a number of its students.

Tina Ainsworth and Bipin Sharma, presented research on the topics of adolescent death and suicide to counselors within the school district.

The presentation included an overview of the leading causes of youth deaths; suicide prevention and risk factors; the process a young adolescent goes through during their grief process; as well as practical information in working with adolescents going through the loss process, such as what works and what doesn't and how to make the process easier, according to Ainsworth.

“The concept of suicide prevention was always intriguing, and unfortunately, there are several indicators of the potential people that will commit suicide which are often overlooked,” Sharma said. “People who have to continue to live after a suicide that has impacted them have so many issues that they have to deal with. For instance, there is a lot of anger at the person who is gone, survivors can become isolated, turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the loss, and most importantly, the survivors are not sure how to react.”

“I was very proud that our students were considered to be knowledgeable in that field and to be invited by a school district to come do that,” said Mary Nichter, associate professor of counseling. “They could have asked faculty members to do it, but they didn’t; they asked our doctoral students. I think it says a lot about our program.”

Both Ainsworth and Sharma also serve as adjunct faculty members in the counselor education program, teaching an undergraduate class apiece in addition to their doctoral work.

Ainsworth’s dissertation is on the grief of a parent following the loss of a child, and she said she is also interested in how the adolescent deals with grief and loss.

Sharma is currently working with alcoholics and addicts who have either witnessed a completed suicide or was very close with someone who has attempted suicide. He is also interested in helping school districts taking an active role in suicide prevention.


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Raymond Named LULAC ‘ Educator Of The Year’

Kay Raymond, associate professor of Spanish, was recently honored by the Huntsville chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens as an “Educator of the Year.”

The LULAC No. 4466 chapter presented Raymond with the 2009 LULAC Community Amigo Award “in appreciation for consistently supporting the educational goals of LULAC."

The presentation was made by Beatriz Duarte, a May 2008 graduate of SHSU with majors in Spanish and criminal justice and a minor in psychology, who is also a member of the Huntsville LULAC chapter.


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McNair Scholar To “Pre-VU” Vandy

Nicole Gonzalez, McNair ScholarNicole Gonzalez, a Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program Scholar and a senior psychology major, is one of 24 McNair Scholars from universities across the country who has been selected to attend the “Pre-VU” weekend at Vanderbilt University.

The weekend, held March 12-15, is tailored to the students’ plans for doctoral study, according to Lydia Fox, McNair program director.
During her stay, Gonzalez will have the opportunity to interact with faculty and doctoral students, visit laboratories and classrooms, and explore the campus and surrounding Nashville community.

In addition to the group events, students will have individual meetings with the directors of graduate studies and faculty whose interests match theirs.

“Nicole will also have the opportunity to take part in workshops meant to aid in the graduate school application process, providing insight as to what Vanderbilt is looking for in applications and create admission opportunities for herself by meeting and impressing faculty members in her discipline,” Fox said.

Should she be admitted, Gonzalez would be eligible for one of twenty $50,000 Provost’s Graduate Fellowships awarded to talented underrepresented doctoral students.


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Houston Hispanic Forum Career & Education Day

Dorothy Farrington Caram, Houston Hispanic Forum co-founder; Abelardo Saavedra, superintendent of Houston Independent School District; John de Castro, SHSU dean of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Debra Andrist, SHSU Foreign Languages chair, at the Houston Hispanic Forum Career and Education Day on Feb. 7

SHSU faculty, administrators and students spent Feb. 7 talking with some of the more than 18,000 Houston area high school and middle school students who attended the 23rd Annual Houston Hispanic Forum Career & Education Day.

The all-day event, held annually at the George R. Brown Convention Center, featured information booths from schools and businesses, as well as panel rooms highlighting varied careers.

“From a bilingual experience originally dedicated to informing a limited number of targeted students about their options for higher education and the realities of career requirements and benefits, the day has evolved into a massive multi-faceted, multi-lingual, event attended by a multi-cultural/ethnic audience, including not only families, but students bused in by teachers and counselors,” said Debra Andrist, chair of the foreign languages department.

The Bearkat Admissions Office has had an information booth at the event for several years, and 2009 was the second year for faculty and students from the SHSU College of Criminal Justice and foreign languages department to man panel rooms.

In addition, Bearkat students served as “roving ambassadors,” wearing the “distinctive orange and navy Sam service learning T-shirts provided by the Provost's Office,” according to Andrist.

Attendees included John de Castro, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; nine foreign languages faculty members, including Madalina Akli, Andrist, Rob Blair, Bo Chen, James Frankki, Alejandro Latínez, Alcibiades Policarpo, Kay Raymond and Ray Rentería; and approximately three dozen students. Other SHSU administration and faculty participants included representatives from admissions, forensic science and criminal justice.

“This participation placed the Bearkats, if not the largest single provider of volunteers, certainly in the top two or three of all providers,” Andrist said. “Several Sam alumni spontaneously showed up to cheer the Bearkats on.”


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All information for news stories should be sent to the office at least a week in advance to give the staff ample time to make necessary contacts and write the story.

For electronic access to SHSU news see the Communications Web page Today@Sam.



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SHSU Media Contacts: Julia May, Jennifer Gauntt
March 6, 2009
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